Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

My failure in the legal profession really is hurting my confidence/esteem

I'm now desperate to find reasons to feel good about myself. notreallyalawyer09/02/17
What's your professional background? mrlollipop09/02/17
Well in "law" nothing but doc review/factual development (mo notreallyalawyer09/02/17
Sorry to hear it. As hard as it may be, your career should n spaghetti09/02/17
Have you considered moving to a rural area and going solo wi lawlyer8209/03/17
Buddy, this trolling the internet to find someone who cited patenttrollnj09/02/17
Trust me, it didn't make me feel any better. Worse in fact.. notreallyalawyer09/02/17
Go see a professional. Your brain chemistry changes and you propita09/02/17
Unfortunately I've been seeing shrinks for most of my life. notreallyalawyer09/02/17
Have you looked at coding bootcamps yet? I know you said pre thirdtierlaw09/02/17
I'll look into a coding bootcamp, but I can't start it while notreallyalawyer09/02/17
I have not. I do know a few self-taught programmers who spen thirdtierlaw09/02/17
I think there is a solid argument that people who are bad in notreallyalawyer09/02/17
I wish you the best of luck. I'll just say one of the 2 p thirdtierlaw09/02/17
I barely passed calculus. Thanks though. I will look into co notreallyalawyer09/02/17
Everyone has failed. Donald Trump filed bankruptcy six times ericcrapton09/02/17
I'm not struggling nearly as much as OP, but I also don't th perkinwarbeck09/02/17
What did you do to become fine? I can't describe how hope notreallyalawyer09/02/17
I graduated during the 2008 market. I suffered significant p ericcrapton09/02/17
Glad you did make it after all, it shows it's possible, but notreallyalawyer09/03/17
Legal profession success is being liked enough by douche bag superttthero09/02/17
That's actually what my brother said when he didn't get an o notreallyalawyer09/02/17
Have you thought about trying to get a court clerk position. attorneydavid09/02/17
Do you mean court clerk or clerkship? I looked up local cour notreallyalawyer09/03/17
court clerk. The people who take your filings and enter int attorneydavid09/03/17
To be taken seriously, wouldn't I have to take the past 18 y notreallyalawyer09/03/17
The head clerk in the largest county in my State was an atto thirdtierlaw09/03/17
I appreciate the suggestions, but I'd prefer, if I'm going t notreallyalawyer09/03/17
I'm trying to do the same thing. I'm actually taking courses attorneydavid09/03/17
you gotta get out of your head. do something crazy. i don defensivelawyer09/02/17
Oddly, this is the best advice in this thread. Go camping midlaw09/05/17
I think you're just a massive troll. If not, you need to jus oddis50009/03/17
I'm not quite following this poster. He said he only had a c cranky09/03/17
Regarding: "How can you be in your early forties and still h patenttrollnj09/03/17
I have been on jdu off and on for about 10 years, after firs cranky09/05/17
I'm not Tony Robbins or whoever but you determine how you fe isthisit09/03/17
Whole thing (this and other poasts) smells of elaborate flam wutwutwut09/03/17
Nice to know my life is so pathetic it can't possibly be bel notreallyalawyer09/04/17
Buddy, to be fair, you are being a little bit melodramatic. patenttrollnj09/05/17
Apparently the SBA is hiring attorneys and paralegals to wor theclient09/04/17
Yes, I've tried it, didn't seem to help but I'm current read notreallyalawyer09/04/17
OP, I am a working lawyer in a competitive market. Nothing s cacrimdefense09/05/17
You are making the mistake of assuming I'm intelligent. I ju notreallyalawyer09/05/17
It sounds to me, like you are putting yourself down. "Wor unclebubba09/05/17
It would be easier if I could get work.. IF I could support notreallyalawyer09/05/17
I graduated below median at a T4 school with no job prospect flyer1409/05/17
Oh I believe you, that if I didn't have my anxiety issues, I notreallyalawyer09/05/17
What does being smart have to do with engineering and scienc downwardslope09/05/17
I'm afraid I'm very much in agreement w/ the last paragraph cacrimdefense09/05/17
I can write well under stress/pressure, at least in comparis notreallyalawyer09/05/17
Curious, how did your first legal boss get her job? I had do notreallyalawyer09/05/17
serious suggestion: gerry spences TRIAL LAWYERS COLLEGE. defensivelawyer09/05/17
Do you recommend his books? I looked, I can't afford that. I notreallyalawyer09/05/17
books wont help. you need the immersive soul baring experien defensivelawyer09/05/17
Heh, well if I get some gig I can save up money to do someth notreallyalawyer09/05/17
no. id go to a 3 day psychodrama workshop. break down the defensivelawyer09/05/17
Dude, you labor under the delusion, that you have a "career" unclebubba09/06/17
So, as a non-talker, you won't be a trial attorney, but ther theclient09/06/17
I would argue that being a non-talker makes you a better lit downwardslope09/06/17
Ever seen my cousin vinny? I could only aspire to be like th notreallyalawyer09/06/17
Yes. I am very much a non-talker and it's not a problem in l fettywap09/06/17
Wow...just...wow. I'll try not to sound harsh, but I get qdllc09/06/17
My take is that OP is a troll. If he's a real person, any me trickydick09/06/17
You are probably correct, but I have benefitted from these k unclebubba09/07/17
OP: I would suggest you look into obtaining a Masters in Lib wolfman09/06/17
You can get legal research jobs with law firms without havin downwardslope09/06/17
Something positive. I got referred for a Contract Specialist notreallyalawyer09/06/17
When you people say it's over for me, do you mean in any asp notreallyalawyer09/11/17
I don't know the answer to this....legal hiring (honestly, d dcgootle09/11/17
Thanks. I appreciate that. Just wonder if they are saying I notreallyalawyer09/11/17
I have a friend who was not in a lawyer position (although I downwardslope09/11/17
I realize I could technically start my own firm, though I ha notreallyalawyer09/11/17
I was editing my response--- see above. Contracts is probabl downwardslope09/11/17
So you think if I applied for some government attorney job l notreallyalawyer09/11/17

notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 12:12 pm)

I'm now desperate to find reasons to feel good about myself. I've done vanity searches in the past, to see if people cited my law review Note. I've discovered that I am cited in a property law casebook, a Callman's treatist and in some text book, as well as a handful of law review articles. I almost feel bad for them citing me, if only they knew an unemployable lawyer was the guy they cited. I can't feel good about any of this, because really, it's nothing, and second, look where I am.. Sorry, just a rant.. This job search is totally fruitless and I'm just desperate to find some alternative career before I get too old to even be considered.

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mrlollipop (Sep 2, 2017 - 12:18 pm)

What's your professional background?

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 12:21 pm)

Well in "law" nothing but doc review/factual development (more second level review, qc type stuff, but not management).. That's it. I've never had a real job and I'm over 40..

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spaghetti (Sep 2, 2017 - 8:59 pm)

Sorry to hear it. As hard as it may be, your career should not define your self-worth.

Your post prompted me to Shepardize my law review note. Some Ivy LR article cited it extensively and with praise. I just made up almost the entire thing in one weekend of frantically throwing it together. I also curbed heavily from a few other articles. Yet another anecdote showing how dumb legal academia is.

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lawlyer82 (Sep 3, 2017 - 8:17 am)

Have you considered moving to a rural area and going solo with the help of appointments?

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patenttrollnj (Sep 2, 2017 - 12:44 pm)

Buddy, this trolling the internet to find someone who cited your law review article has got to stop.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 12:46 pm)

Trust me, it didn't make me feel any better. Worse in fact.. My personality/anxiety just sucks. Wow.

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propita (Sep 2, 2017 - 2:45 pm)

Go see a professional. Your brain chemistry changes and you need to offset the changes before they become your body's new "normal."

Speaking as someone who was diagnosed with ZERO self-confidence and ZERO self-esteem.

As for the rest, I'm 54 and have only done a bit of research atty work. I gave up.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 3:04 pm)

Unfortunately I've been seeing shrinks for most of my life. Right now I only see a psychologist for my anxiety. it isn't helping. Back when I was on meds, it didn't do anything for my anxiety, so I still can't speak under pressure, on the spot, or in interviews even when I was taking them. I've tried basically every type and there are no new classes of drugs out there, and I'm not willing, nor does it help, to take benzos. They have little effect on me, for example I had to take triple the normal dosage for sedation dentistry, and I don't want to be addicted and it honestly doesn't help... So this normal has always been my normal, though in the past I had hope... If I went to college... or if I went to grad school or law school... And now I've got all that and am still unemployable... there's really nothing for me to hope for other than the lottery.

I want to give up law, well I never even started so it was over years ago, I just deluded myself with hope.. But the problem is, I am not being taken seriously trying to leave law either.. Who is going to hire a 40 something year old for an entry level college grad job? I wish I could work at costco or whatever even, but I owe too much money.

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 2, 2017 - 3:14 pm)

Have you looked at coding bootcamps yet? I know you said previously you struggled with Fortran, but it's a different world right now.

Now that you're unemployed is the best time to give it a try. You aren't leaving a job to roll the dice. Many of these bootcamps guarantee a job or it's free. So even if you only get a gig for 50k, you now have something you didn't before, experience.

If you get some coding skills you can then leverage those new skills with your doc review background to try getting a spot at an e-discovery firm. Or you can continue with coding.

There are also digital security certificates you can get as well. Do a boot camp, cram for one of those exams, then start marketing yourself as a security compliance guy.

You scoffed at working at Costco, but there is something to be said for grinding it out at menial jobs while job hunting.

I understand that you seem physically incapable of networking your way into a job. So you need to work around your limitations.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 3:26 pm)

I'll look into a coding bootcamp, but I can't start it while I'm on unemployment or I disqualify myself from getting unemployment benefits. Have you done it? I mean I'm pretty horrible with computers. I used to be okay, not like I could program, but now I have problems with even advanced excel type stuff. I just can't myself being any good at programming let alone getting a job at it. Believe me, I tried, I went into college knowing my personality would severely limit my job prospects, so I tried doing this, and i did horribly..

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 2, 2017 - 4:32 pm)

I have not. I do know a few self-taught programmers who spent 6 months learning to program while working at a bar at night. Both people I know are making between 80k and 120k now out west. They did it without a program with an interest in getting them a job.

You're in a tough spot. I understand that. But you need to stop being so defeatist. Fixing that will likely fix your anxiety issues as well.

Law didn't work out for you. It doesn't work out for a lot of people. It's time to move on. There is no going back. Your first and foremost goal is getting a job that'll pay your bills.

Nobody is "bad with computers". They just haven't taken the time to learn. Using Google you can find 100s of Udemy courses for free to teach you the basics of using computers, different languages, etc. Find one that you connect with and go from there. Then when you apply to bootcamps you'll already have a foundation.

Sorry for the "tough love," but sitting around moping about what you could have been with your law review note is a waste of time and won't help you get out of this mess.

"Poor me, I was bad at programming 20 years ago." Won't help you get where you need to be any quicker. You are unemployed and getting a job takes time. Whether in programming or compliance. You need to use this "dead time" for something.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 4:38 pm)

I think there is a solid argument that people who are bad in math/science probably should stay out of technical fields. Believe me, I really wish I could program, but I was absolutely terrible at it. I took pascal in high school and fortran in college, I was god awful at it. I don't see how I could get any better, just like I still can't interview to save my life just like I couldn't when I was in law school. The reason why I didn't get a job in law school was my anxiety and how it impacts how I speak/interview. Programming/science would be an ideal area for me, I just am not intelligent enough to do that stuff. Believe me, I'm going to look into it. I've just registered with learn.co and I can see how hopeless or not it is before I'd even have to start paying.

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 2, 2017 - 5:55 pm)

I wish you the best of luck.

I'll just say one of the 2 people I mentioned took "remedial algebra" to satisfy his math credit for the degree.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 6:49 pm)

I barely passed calculus. Thanks though. I will look into coding, though I'm going to be looking at other things too. Maybe public policy or policy work, someone else mentioned privacy or FOIA...

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ericcrapton (Sep 2, 2017 - 3:32 pm)

Everyone has failed. Donald Trump filed bankruptcy six times. What are you good at? Keep applying relentlessly. I would try to get into compliance. In the meantime, and I assume you are male, exercise, drink socially at bars, and date women. This will build your self confidence. Don't be afraid to fail, everyone does, just don't define yourself by it. You can reinvent yourself. And when you find yourself doubting yourself, make yourself stop and go out and do something that leads to your goals, be it exercising or applying for jobs.

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perkinwarbeck (Sep 2, 2017 - 6:54 pm)

I'm not struggling nearly as much as OP, but I also don't think I'll ever be as confident as I was before law school and the 5 year struggle that followed. I'm doing fine now, but it like I have my own personal lost decade.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 9:02 pm)

What did you do to become fine?

I can't describe how hopeful I was after my first year. I was top 5% in my class, I thought I'd get something.. Boy I was wrong.

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ericcrapton (Sep 2, 2017 - 9:40 pm)

I graduated during the 2008 market. I suffered significant personal setbacks after a couple of years of underemployment. Look, life is going to throw bricks at you. It throws them at everyone. What defines a success, or even a survivor, is persistence. Seven years after my life was in the tank, I am making six figures. The memories of hardship have not disappeared and I still have my problems, but if you persist, you will make it. Be honest with yourself - what are you good at? Is it writing, research, or advocacy? Do a realistic appraisal of your best qualities and concentrate your search on the positions that suit you. I'm sorry for what you are going through, I have been there, but you can make it. Apply to the jobs that suit your personality and exercise and date while you are doing it. Pursuing your goal relentlessly during bleak times will carry you through.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 3, 2017 - 10:33 am)

Glad you did make it after all, it shows it's possible, but my past experiences tell me the opposite. I'm okay at writing, I got published once, a long time ago. But I honestly hate writing. I'm obviously horrible at advocacy given my anxiety issues. If I could get a writing job, I'd do it, I honestly don't have the luxury to do what I want/like, This is about survival now. I have maybe 2 more months of unemployment left. I've been applying for all sorts of jobs, attorney jobs (though mainly for unemployment purposes), other government jobs, I've applied for law clerk (basically doc review) at government contractors, jobs with local government (non attorney)... Still haven't gotten a single interview (though they have only dismissed me for one position, the applications weren't rejected yet for a few other positions)..

I've considered seeing a career counselor, but I'm honestly frightened that I'm going to spend several thousand dollars for them to tell me I should work stocking shelves in a warehouse. I wish I could do that, but I can't pay my minimum payments, let alone rent on a salary like that would provide. I'm an introvert, I have terrible general anxiety and social anxiety. I could function in my job, just not enough to get promoted, as my job required you to go into management or else you lose your job, which happened to me. The hardest part was not getting bored to death. It was so boring. I occasionally had to speak at meetings. If I had gotten into management, I would have had to do a lot more, which I'm horrible at. And I'm a terrible interviewee.. The reason why I didn't get a law job in law school was due to my anxiety. I had the grades/law review, everyone else on law review got jobs, most if not all in biglaw. Not like I necessarily wanted biglaw, as I would have done poorly most likely, I also applied for government jobs, mid size even small firm jobs and got nothing. I got doc review, just like if I had graduated last in my class.

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superttthero (Sep 2, 2017 - 7:14 pm)

Legal profession success is being liked enough by douche bags to get money, or being enough of a douche bag yourself to take it from other douche bags or from naïve people.

Take it as a compliment that it's not for you.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 7:25 pm)

That's actually what my brother said when he didn't get an offer from his summer associate position law firm. He said he wasn't a big enough douchebag. He's still a much bigger douche than I am. He doesn't have the anxiety issues I have, he even does presentations with audiences for seminars.. I really envy him.. I'd kill for a low paying government job but I know that's too unrealistic for me to even think about. I've applied to so many of those jobs, never get interviews..

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attorneydavid (Sep 2, 2017 - 9:37 pm)

Have you thought about trying to get a court clerk position. They seem fairly cushy and mayve eventually you could network your way into something.

Maybe state level sales tax stuff.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 3, 2017 - 10:26 am)

Do you mean court clerk or clerkship? I looked up local court clerk and the educational requirement is HS diploma or GED. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't consider me for being overqualified. I did apply to a contract specialist position this morning though, GS9 which states it is entry level and made it clear in my cover letter that I want to make a career change. Every other contract specialist position I've applied for (Though they were higher pay grades) declined me because I'm not a veteran. I'll keep plugging away though..

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attorneydavid (Sep 3, 2017 - 12:03 pm)

court clerk. The people who take your filings and enter into the system

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 3, 2017 - 12:25 pm)

To be taken seriously, wouldn't I have to take the past 18 years of my resume? How can I do that?

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 3, 2017 - 12:38 pm)

The head clerk in the largest county in my State was an attorney for a decade.

People aren't just wasting your time throwing out suggestions.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 3, 2017 - 12:43 pm)

I appreciate the suggestions, but I'd prefer, if I'm going to leave law, to completely leave it. I don't want the constant reminder, such as working in a courthouse, how i failed in my chosen profession. I think the constant reminder would be very depressing, hence why I'm not looking at paralegal positions, which someone else suggested. Perhaps if I had kids, a wife, I'd do anything so long as I made money, but since I don't, I want a complete and total exit from law, preferably.

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attorneydavid (Sep 3, 2017 - 1:39 pm)

I'm trying to do the same thing. I'm actually taking courses right now for prereqs for something health. If you don't hate dealing with people I'd suggest retail management once you get past the first 5 years or so and the first or second level of management people really like it.

I had physical problems until recently so that was out. But if you can handle the standing it's a great career with alot of demand. They were still recruiting store managers in the great recession.

Of course lots of attorneys are type A personalities who take stupid people personally so it's not for everyone.

If I wasn't trying to do something health related it's what I'd do or buy a business.

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defensivelawyer (Sep 2, 2017 - 9:42 pm)

you gotta get out of your head. do something crazy.

i dont know what.

maybe www.peyoteway.org

maybe go learn to fight.

maybe fast for 30 days.

stewing in failure is bad.

shake youself up.

this is a good time to be alive, and,there is something out there for uou, if you can really show up.

but theres so much crap in your head.

flush it out!!!

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midlaw (Sep 5, 2017 - 5:29 pm)

Oddly, this is the best advice in this thread.

Go camping for a month. Road trip through Appalachia. Hunt snakes in the Everglades.

Just throwing out ideas.

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oddis500 (Sep 3, 2017 - 12:49 pm)

I think you're just a massive troll. If not, you need to just delete your account on here and move on with your life. Your issues have nothing to do with what job you have.

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cranky (Sep 3, 2017 - 2:06 pm)

I'm not quite following this poster. He said he only had a career of 15 years doing document review and then more recently said that he was fired from his firm. Unless the firm means working for a document review Farm. Either way this poster seems like he needs some psychological help. How can you be in your early forties and still have so little self-esteem. How could anyone stay in document review for 15 years also and then lament that there is no career to be had. This is a cautionary Tale for people not to stay in document review for more than a year or two at most. If you still can't get a real legal career going after a couple of years post graduation, then it's time to move on to a non-legal field and cut your losses.

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patenttrollnj (Sep 3, 2017 - 5:09 pm)

Regarding: "How can you be in your early forties and still have so little self-esteem."

Answer: Very easy! It happens all the time.



Regarding: "How could anyone stay in document review for 15 years also and then lament that there is no career to be had."

Answer: false hope! It's hard to accept that you can't ever find a better law job, so you waste-away in a crappy one in hopes that a better one will come along. Unfortunately, it never does, and then depression sets-in.



Regarding: "If you still can't get a real legal career going after a couple of years ..... then it's time to move on to a non-legal field ..."

Where were you 8 years ago?? I could have used this advice myself.

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cranky (Sep 5, 2017 - 11:08 am)

I have been on jdu off and on for about 10 years, after first hearing about it on abovethelaw in someone's comment. I know of several people who could not get real legal jobs after graduating and wound up going into something else-- other jobs at universities, teaching, nursing school even. Even if OP's story isn't for real, no one should stay in doc review more than a few years, unless the goal is to become a manager for the doc review co.

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isthisit (Sep 3, 2017 - 10:17 pm)

I'm not Tony Robbins or whoever but you determine how you feel.

Sounds like you feel sorry for yourself. That sucks.

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wutwutwut (Sep 3, 2017 - 10:43 pm)

Whole thing (this and other poasts) smells of elaborate flame.

No one is this pathetic; he's grotesquely mis-characterizing JDU and/or scambloggers generally.

Ignore is my thinking.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 4, 2017 - 12:11 am)

Nice to know my life is so pathetic it can't possibly be believable. Thanks a lot.

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patenttrollnj (Sep 5, 2017 - 1:19 am)

Buddy, to be fair, you are being a little bit melodramatic.

A better attitude can help your situation.

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theclient (Sep 4, 2017 - 9:51 am)

Apparently the SBA is hiring attorneys and paralegals to work on Hurricane Harvey. They have ads in the newspaper.

Re: social anxiety - it is so common. I have worked in law firms and legal departments where a good portion of workers had some level of social anxiety. I've also worked in IT and, as promised in the brochure, I saw advanced level social anxiety. But these people work. They have jobs. They get past the interview, mumbling introvert personality and all. So, you can succeed. There is a place for you. You don't have to be perfect.

Have you tried CBT - Cognitive Behavior Therapy to change your thinking?

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 4, 2017 - 10:15 am)

Yes, I've tried it, didn't seem to help but I'm current reading books on it again and am trying it. I've just found no matter what I do, any kind of interview or speaking situation goes far worse than I ever imagine possible. I mean horribly.. I wish I had the brains to do IT/science/programming, but unfortunately I don't.

I've been on meds too and they haven't helped.

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cacrimdefense (Sep 5, 2017 - 2:11 am)

OP, I am a working lawyer in a competitive market. Nothing spectacular, but I have a steady flow of cases, and I produce results and pay bills. I seem to have at least some of what you want, and you are better than me for these reasons:

1. Top 5% after your first year? I'd have killed for that. My grades were all over the place in law school, but I picked the absolute worst time (1L year) to get the lowest marks of my LS career. Although I finished up, by the time I graduated, just below the middle student of my class, I was in the bottom 20% at the end of my first year. Dead for the purposes of OCI or anything government related.

To this day, it still bothers me every now and then. I knocked myself out academically and couldn't even crack the top half of my bottom-of-Tier-1 law school class.

2. I tried out for the moot court team 5 times (I was a "snowflake" w/ delusions of being an earth-shattering force in the courtroom). 4 times I made the final round, however, and I failed to get a spot on the intra-school competition teams on EACH of those occasions. Essentially, I was Jim Kelly w/o the millions of dollars and praise from my colleagues.

3. I didn't even sit for a bar exam until I had been out of law school for 5 years. And when I did, I didn't pass until my 3rd attempt.

4. I'm a criminal defense solo now who also handles cases sent my way from a pair firms near my office, however, up until 2013, I was employed as an attorney for the worst kind of sh-- law firms.

My First Legal Job in CA: I worked for a guy for almost two years who let me go while he owed me thousands of dollars. A lawyer who was commonly able to meet Friday's payroll only if I settled some car accident case w/ an insurance adjuster quickly enough, and then drove over and picked up the settlement check. Upon firing me, he promptly hired another young attorney to take my place, and just unilaterally decided he wasn't going to pay me what I was owed. It took me over a year to get my money through the Labor Board.

My Last Legal Job in CA: I was one of 7 or 8 attorneys working for a firm, run by two gentlemen who have both lost their law licenses in the past couple years. The partner w/ whom I was the closest, and has provided me glowing letters of recommendation, is a druggie who is commonly in-and-out of jail on a week to week basis.

5. I shouldn't even start w/ my collection of poorly developed social skills (I'm lucky to be married, and probably wouldn't be if my wife wasn't so quirky herself). I was the wierd kid no one liked in grade school, and had someone ever held a gun to my head in my late teens, and advised me that my continued existence was contingent upon successfully rushing and being accepted as a member of a college fraternity, I'd have never seen my 20th birthday.

My point: You are clearly intellectually superior to me in at least some ways. Academically? No question. Better socially polished? Maybe, maybe not. Despite a wobbly voice when pressed w/ questions, you must possess marketable skills or talents that a legal outfit will value. Your mind clearly does some things, related to law, that most of your classmates couldn't match. At the very least, not with the speed yours could.

Stop kicking your ass around inside the confines of your cranium. If I can work w/ my assorted shortcoming/failings, there is certainly a position out there for you in which you will excel. Keep at it. Stop beating yourself up, b/c from your own description, you really don't sound like you have much further to fall. There is labor out there to be performed by what you have between your eyebrows. You have more to offer than many.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 8:55 am)

You are making the mistake of assuming I'm intelligent. I just worked hard. I was able to multitask in law school. I was horrible at the things I wanted to be like an engineer or programmer..

I completely failed at even the lowest rung of legal practice, document review. I couldn't even handle that, it stressed me out too much.

you are a far far more successful person than I am, and I would kill to be able to have the ability to have my own practice and the ability to do the work that involves.. Trust me, I'm 10x more socially awkward than you are, the longest relationship I've ever had (trust me, this doesn't bother me now, I'm a longer and so so accustomed to it) was 5 months.. I'm never going to get married, never going to have kids, that's not really a concern for me, that'a s luxury. I'm in I need to survive mode, that means I need work, and preferably a career.

The difference between you and I, was that someone was willing to give yo a chance, which never happened to me. The only job I ever got was a temp to hire job that they gave everyone offers to, then eventually fired everyone off. That you could figure out how to start your own practice and keep it going astounds me. I would kill to be able to work for myself. I envy people who work for themselves, to not have to work for someone else must be so liberating even if it is stressful..

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unclebubba (Sep 5, 2017 - 9:50 am)

It sounds to me, like you are putting yourself down.

"Working hard" = intelligence too.

As to failing in doc review, I would advice you to revisit your memories: Were you really failing? Or did someone tell you, you sucked? There are a lot of bad people putting you down - I've been across a few, and boy can they be convincing. To be a little distrusting of your fellow man may be helpful. Less Mr. Chips and more Patrick Bateman.

Also you are on unemployment, so it sounds to me, like you have an ordinary sucky career like the rest of us - that's not too shabby. Bottles and models - while being dependent on ability - is also highly dependent on luck.

So in short: You suck, but reading this thread it is my opinion, that you suck at least 30 - 50 % LESS than you think. Stop putting yourself down!

Also, if there are no children depending on you, you are not even close to squeezed! If no children just go hike the Appalachian trail or something. If you have children - that fact alone makes you suck even less than stated above.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 11:18 am)

It would be easier if I could get work.. IF I could support myself.. But currently I cannot, and I have the added stress of knowing I'm unlikely to get substantial work, that I'm going to be undermployed my entire life, and have little marketability to get myself other jobs in case I lose a job... It just stinks. I wish I could be more positive, but my experience has been so bad, my entire life.

I don't think I suck, I just have bad anxiety, and others my entire life haven't given me much of a shot. Not like they owe me anything, I have no right to not be homeless or anything like that. Just given a chance I might be able to survive.

There's a difference between intelligence and being a hard worker. If I were intelligent I would have been able to succeed in engineering/science. I couldn't. No matter how I tried, I couldn't. Liberal arts is much easier, law school is much easier, so with hard work, I could do well. No matter how hard I tried in engineering, I could barely pass.

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flyer14 (Sep 5, 2017 - 9:58 am)

I graduated below median at a T4 school with no job prospects and I've successfully parlayed that into a great non-law career. Trust me, the hand of cards you've been dealt could be a whole lot worse.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 11:19 am)

Oh I believe you, that if I didn't have my anxiety issues, I'd be completely fine, and I would have been able to get a great non law career too. Thing is, this handicaps me, and will handicap me outside of law too.

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downwardslope (Sep 5, 2017 - 2:07 pm)

What does being smart have to do with engineering and science? Plenty of brilliant people have no talent at engineering or science. Your issue is just that you think you will fail and so you do. You blame it on anxiety, but plenty of people are anxious. My first legal boss had a bad stutter that really came out when she was anxious. She could barely string 3 words together. She had come out of retirement after being GC in a few state agencies for that job, btw. She made it to that level with her stutter and socially awkward nature.

You are your own worst enemy. People do not want someone who is going to defeat himself. They want someone who can be successful. Anxious people with social anxiety can be successful. People who are sure they will fail will fail.

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cacrimdefense (Sep 5, 2017 - 5:07 pm)

I'm afraid I'm very much in agreement w/ the last paragraph of downardslope's post. Dude, your mindset is your biggest obstacle. You are beating yourself silly.

You say you do poorly w/ situations that involve pressure and stress, but that can't be a blanket one-size-fits-all condition for you b/c 1L exams are tremendous pressure cookers (and your performance was top-notch).

Finally, you're right. I think you possess some intelligence. You worked hard your first year? So did I, I can assure you, and I don't care if you pulled top 5% at Western State, Golden Gate, NYLS or Hamline; you had the brain power to achieve what everyone was shooting for ... and you beat 19 out of every 20. I simply couldn't match that. Not at any point in my law school career.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 5:13 pm)

I can write well under stress/pressure, at least in comparison to others taking an exam. however, I cannot speak well in the same circumstances. If law school exams were oral instead of written, i would have failed out. Even when I'm not sure of an answer, when you write you can BS to the point where the right answer or whatever they are looking for is eventually in there, you/I can't do that while speaking. Unfortunately speaking is much more important for getting and keeping jobs..

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 5:22 pm)

Curious, how did your first legal boss get her job? I had dozens and dozens of interviews in law school and didn't get a single offer. I didn't get a job, period. Your boss as able to get one, where I wasn't. What you say isn't true, because I thought I was going to fail my first semester law school exams. I did very well.

Someone gave your boss a chance. Nobody gave me a chance. That's the difference.

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defensivelawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 5:23 pm)

serious suggestion:

gerry spences TRIAL LAWYERS COLLEGE.

check it out.

it might just change your life

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 5:35 pm)

Do you recommend his books? I looked, I can't afford that. I have no money/income right now.. Plus those are nowhere near me. I'm still trying to figure out if I should just completely give up on law. Multiple people in here have said, which I tend to agree with, that after I did more than 2-3 years of doc review, I effectively ended my legal career and it's now time for me to move on.

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defensivelawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 7:29 pm)

books wont help. you need the immersive soul baring experience.

you need to open up, man.

you need to get naked in front of others

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 7:47 pm)

Heh, well if I get some gig I can save up money to do something like this should the possibility of being a lawyer still be in the deck of cards. Do you think it wise to do something like Toastmasters int he interim?

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defensivelawyer (Sep 5, 2017 - 9:44 pm)

no.

id go to a 3 day psychodrama workshop. break down the barriers. dig deep.

google psychodrama traing or therapy

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unclebubba (Sep 6, 2017 - 3:20 am)

Dude, you labor under the delusion, that you have a "career".

You. Do. Not. Have. A. Career!

Most people do not have careers, and having a career is not necessarily a good thing. For one thing having a career means being locked in said career.

Having a career can lead to all kinds of unpleasantness - like suicide, depression, and what not -esp. if you feel like you're "loosing" your career.

You're unemployed, so what you need is a job. A job that pays an adequate salary. That's it, that's all.

The first step in getting a job is finding an available adequate job and applying for it. All else is secondary.

Careers are for preps and fools.

And if you aren't already: Go for daily long walks and eat fresh fruit and vegetables. They're relatively cheap and better than prozac.

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theclient (Sep 6, 2017 - 10:36 am)

So, as a non-talker, you won't be a trial attorney, but there are so many other jobs in the world that don't require talking. I went to a legal related job interview at a major company and never said a word in the interview. The person interviewing me liked to hear herself talk. I smiled and nodded. I also got hired. Then I had co-workers who would work their entire day never saying a word. Talking wasn't part of the job. Everything is via email and databases in Corporate America. Corp America will also hire all manner of "different" people.

Your anxiety is ruling your thinking and I know from my friends with anxiety, there really is no getting talked out of it. Anxiety just exists. It's too bad meds haven't helped you.

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downwardslope (Sep 6, 2017 - 10:41 am)

I would argue that being a non-talker makes you a better litigator. Litigation is not about talking. People who talk too much dig their own graves. It is just as much about being a good listener and saying just as much as you need to get your point across. People who are talkers often say too much or ask too many questions.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 6, 2017 - 5:35 pm)

Ever seen my cousin vinny? I could only aspire to be like the replacement lawyer who couldn't speak to save his life. Under stress, someone could ask me my name and I wouldn't know it.. Even if litigation is not speaking, you still have to have the ability to speak, and my anxiety prevents that. I literally have to plan out what I'm saying for a long time, keep on repeating the comment question in my head, then attempt it, and then it might possibly come out semi correctly.

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fettywap (Sep 6, 2017 - 10:50 am)

Yes. I am very much a non-talker and it's not a problem in litigation. Litigation is about only opening your mouth when you have something important to say and keep it tightly zipped otherwise. Plus, the other side thinks you're up to something when you're quiet even though you're probably bluffing.

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qdllc (Sep 6, 2017 - 11:24 am)

Wow...just...wow.

I'll try not to sound harsh, but I get where you're at, and the advice I have to give isn't going to be easy to take...so prepare yourself.

I too have anxiety issues. Had them all my life but never realized what they were until I had panic attacks in my last semester of law school (and I've performed on stage and have done public speaking). Limited therapy time came to the "best guess" that deep down I knew I didn't want to practice law, and the attacks was my subconscious' way to telling me to change course.

So, I was fortunate to realize the practice of law was not for me and not further push myself into doing something I would hate. Still, I'm stuck in a very "dead end" career...still linked to the practice of law, and have been blocked from most everything else because of that dreaded JD degree and the perceptions people have of it.

First, life goes on. It may not be what you expected, but you can do something different, and likely be "happier" overall...even if the money and prestige is not there.

Second, stop doing the "ego checks." For the most part, your typical attorney is fairly pedestrian and unremarkable except maybe within a small circle of peers. You, my friend, are nothing special...just like probably 95%-plus of attorneys practicing today. It is a mistake to let your career (or your success in that career) define your self worth. Your therapist should have told you this already.

Third, I'd recommend going to Amazon and getting Warrior's Way and the Soldier's Soul from Terrence Popp. It's riddled with dyslexic typos, but it's a crash course on the harsh reality of being a "man" in the real world. Geared for people who serve, but a lot of helpful "life lessons" everyone should learn early as to avoid the pitfalls most fall into.

https://www.amazon.com/Warriors-soldiers-soul-Terrence-Popp-ebook/dp/B009SQHZIM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504710349&sr=1-1&keywords=soldiers+soul+popp

Fourth, I don't want to say "man up," but that's basically what you have to do. The world owes you nothing. You are not as "special" as you think you are (or were told by others with a bias on the opinion), but be of good cheer...pretty much everyone else (99.99% of the global population) are nothing "special" either. Make your peace with that reality and focus on what gifts and skills you do have. Try to find things that give your life some sense of purpose or satisfaction. Don't overlook how the little things can make you happier. The vast majority of us slobs working for a living don't find purpose or gratification in our paychecks...we work to pay the bills and look for "fulfillment" elsewhere.

I'm pushing 50. I accepted that if I didn't have a "good job" by 40, the game was over for me as I know of hardly anyone over 40 with awesome opportunities absent a list of notable accomplishments. It was hard and depressing to face the reality that "this is as good as it likely will ever get," but I knew it was healthier to accept that reality and make my peace with it than have delusional hopes that everything would change next month, week, year, etc. Ironically, I'm about to begin a really good job in the next month or so. I worked as a secretary/assistant to a solo attorney who was made a judge. He wants me back, and his secretary finally retired. I'm darn good at what I do, but mostly, it was 8 years of working under him that is the basis for why he wants me back. Probably about as good a paycheck as I can expect and full state benefits. I would never have believed this would ever happen 10 years ago. Life can be full of pleasant surprises if you focus on doing what you can do here and now and keep an eye open for opportunities that are right for you.

Best of luck.

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trickydick (Sep 6, 2017 - 2:33 pm)

My take is that OP is a troll. If he's a real person, any meaningful advice is wasted on him because he's more committed to simply complaining about his failures rather than doing anything about them. My two cents.

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unclebubba (Sep 7, 2017 - 1:40 am)

You are probably correct, but I have benefitted from these kinds of threads in the past.

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wolfman (Sep 6, 2017 - 6:32 pm)

OP: I would suggest you look into obtaining a Masters in Library Science via a post-JD fellowship (I am currently aware of programs like this at Arizona and, I think, Denver) and becoming a law librarian (or just a regular librarian, if you can't get a law librarian job - they can be tough to find). You won't make much money, but you will, hopefully, have an interesting job in/around academia and some "status," as well as a position in which social awkwardness is neither rare nor, I think, particularly damaging. It can be tough to find your first position without experience, like in anything else, so I wouldn't necessarily advise someone to leave a stable job for library school, but you're unemployed... You can thank me later. I'm thinking of doing that myself if my other projects don't pan out.

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downwardslope (Sep 6, 2017 - 6:54 pm)

You can get legal research jobs with law firms without having the MLS. I have one former coworker and another friend who were able to do that, although one of those people has now gotten the MLS. I think they just applied to them on a whim and got them.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 6, 2017 - 8:46 pm)

Something positive. I got referred for a Contract Specialist job I applied for. IT had a very short open period, only a week. The announcement closed yesterday, and I got an email saying I've been referred. That doesnt' mean I'll get an interview, as I've been referred on attorney jobs before, and never got any interviews. But at least it's something. Now I've got to read up on the position, and prepare for a possible interview..

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 11, 2017 - 4:38 pm)

When you people say it's over for me, do you mean in any aspect of law? Am I wasting my time applying for federal government attorney jobs? It's not like I would apply for nor even want a biglaw job, or any lawfirm job period. Am I being unrealistic in thinking I would have any hope getting any position as an attorney anywhere? Say there was a federal government lawyer job stating it was entry level.. Something like that or is that beyond what I am capable of possibly getting?

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dcgootle (Sep 11, 2017 - 5:35 pm)

I don't know the answer to this....legal hiring (honestly, despite 4.4% unemployment, hiring in general) is such a crap-show with zero predictability...i think most hiring still comes from inside jobs or just top-tier candidates....but I am pulling for you, because it makes me sad to hear about the way you are suffering.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 11, 2017 - 6:05 pm)

Thanks. I appreciate that. Just wonder if they are saying I should think it's hopeless for any kind of lawyer job after 14 years of doc review, or there are still some avenues open for me in the legal profession. I applied for another job recently, says it's entry level, I have a publication on a very closely related if not the same issue I'd be working on.. Though if those people are right, then the job will go to more recent graduates from better law schools.. The problem with this is that each time I find something to apply for that i think I have a theoretical chance for, I start buying books on the subject, so I can learn it to prepare for an interview.. But if those interviews never materialize, I'm just wasting money.

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downwardslope (Sep 11, 2017 - 7:20 pm)

I have a friend who was not in a lawyer position (although I do think he volunteered at legal aid) despite graduating about 8 years ago and he just landed something with either a solo or a very small practice.

Have you considered looking into a FEMA reservist position? These aren't full time, but I knew someone who did it and he said it was actually pretty busy a lot of the time and got tons of calls to interesting places. I think you could do a variety of tasks like acquisitions where a JD would be helpful.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 11, 2017 - 7:27 pm)

I realize I could technically start my own firm, though I have no capital, and no experience and it would be unethical, but that possibility exists in theory. I just have no desire to be at a law firm and I don't think they'd want me either if I were to work for someone else. Just hoping that there is some theoretical chance that I could be employed by the government in a legal capacity..

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downwardslope (Sep 11, 2017 - 7:33 pm)

I was editing my response--- see above. Contracts is probably your best shot. I think law is not going to happen, but I know people who have found jobs in non-legal capacities who are NOT in standard 1102 contract analyst positions. I have one friend who ended up doing rulemaking, another who did a variety of jobs, etc. Generally anything with "analyst" is a good place to start.

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notreallyalawyer (Sep 11, 2017 - 8:32 pm)

So you think if I applied for some government attorney job listed as "entry level" I'm not going to be considered? I'm applying for every 1102 job I can, However it looks like only the GS7/9 ones are even remotely realistic..

I don't get why they don't consider three years of law school equivalent to 3 year of a doctorate program. Unfortunately they only GS7 ones I've seen have had no room for promotion, I think they max out at GS7 and I couldn't live on that for long.

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